Denver shuttered White Hat Life Skills Center last month for failures

And Ohio should thank Governor Strickland for giving this state the backbone to go ahead and do the same, where charters are not performing.

From the Denver Post editorial:

Charter schools are too often the final destination for at-risk children before they drop out of the school system entirely and become the grim statistics we continue to wring our hands about.

The Life Skills Center of Denver is one of those schools, accepting some 260 students who, for whatever reason, could not succeed – or even survive – in a traditional public school. But the school hasn’t show improvements in student performance, and its attendance rate of 45 percent is the worst of all alternative-education schools in Denver Public Schools.

Charter schools are public institutions that are privately operated under contract with school districts. Life Skills Center is run by an Ohio-based for-profit company, White Hat Management. But the students are still Denver kids, and DPS’s responsibility.

This Rocky Mountain News article describes White Hat’s efforts to challenge the closing, as well as its other failures that convinced Denver to close it in the first place.

Charter proponents will argue that what’s unfair in the above scenario is that public schools can have abysmal stats on success with kids, and never be closed. But that philosophy – whether or not it’s based in reality – is irrelevant because it does nothing to change the fact that the charters are failing. It is a completely specious argument to say, well, public schools don’t have to close if they stink, why should for-profit charters, or not for profit charters for that matter, have to close if they stink?

No can do as a valid argument.

In the meantime, how many editorials like this will we have to see in Ohio? Hopefully, based on Governor Strickland’s desire for a moratorium on new charters and a ban on for-profit charters, very, very few.

Hattip Kathy Bracy’s Blog (an excellent resource btw).

6 thoughts on “Denver shuttered White Hat Life Skills Center last month for failures

  1. Bob – if what you say is true, then you surely would make a better radio show guest than Mr. Coker, who lied on the air to protect his employer. That’s just wrong – I don’t care how great a company or agency is. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. i have been sitting here for a few hours watching you folks whine about charter schools and my job. yep my job.. i have been with whm for about 9 yrs, since there inception.. and not once have i seen you folks talk about how much money i spend on keeping these old buildings and new ones out of the newspapers.. if there is a profit.. im spending the hell out it.. you folks really dont have any idea what it takes to run one of our very advanced schools.. im just a common laborer for whm and i got enough education to know you folks really need to dig deeper if you think we make the money you talk about..

  3. I would support the charter theory if ALL schools were charter schools. It is ludicrous that we have set up two systems that compete under unfair conditions. Why should charters be the ones to operate under less restrictions yet get the same amount of state money? I would also ban “for profit” charter schools. Making money off of educating students, whether special needs or any other target group, is a disgusting idea. Any profits ought to be plowed back into educating students not lining the pockets of Brennan and his ilk.

  4. Cee Jay – thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate your blog posts as well.As I’ve written, I am okay with charters in theory – I am not okay with vouchers on pretty much any level. I do not see them as tools to circumvent teacher orgs since there are plenty of people who love education and educating that work in private schools, some which are for-profit and many which aren’t.It’s the failure to implement the concept of an alternative for kids who truly need alternatives that angers me so much. It does not have to be that way. First of all, public schools can meet the needs better than they might be now. We need to find the places in the system that prevents them from meeting more needs. But also, I’ve witnessed situations where a district truly does not WANT to provide alternatives for certain groups of kids and in those cases, then a true charter, as involved with the district as the law says it should be and with far better oversight and assistance, could benefit kids and families and communities.The problem is that, again, in implementation and oversight, what we have now – with the infestation of the White Hat schools, and others that aren’t doing what they should be doing, fails to comport with what is needed and with what could be.Students come first, second, third and last. They have got to be the priority. As long as making money is the priority, there’s going to be a problem with forprofit charters. IMO

  5. Jill, Thanks for posting on White Hat and Brennan. There is only one thing that Brennan is interested in; it’s Green and has a presidential picture on it. Charters and vouchers are only an attempt to take away dollars from public education and get rid of teacher’s organizations. They do not care about the quality of education the children get as long as they can pay the people actually providing it low wages while they collect millions from public dollars and send their children to private schools.

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